Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2012 with funding from Princeton Theological Seminary Library http://archive.org/details/christiansoOOIyon CHRISTIAN SONGS. BY THE REV. JAMES GILBORNE'LYONS, LLD. "THE SERVICE OF SONG-" PHILADELPHIA: GEORGE S. APPLETON, 148 CHESNUT STREET. 1848. King & Baird, Printers, No. 9 George Street. CONTENTS I. " SING WITH THE HARP," II. THE ROCK IN THE ATLANTIC, III. THE BLEST OF EARTH, . IV. A ROSY CHILD WENT FORTH TO PLAY, V. JESUS WALKING ON THE SEA, . VI. RELIGION IN YOUTH, VII. THE HEROINE MARTYR OF MONTEREY, VIII. THE RETURN TO LEZAYRE, IX. THOU ART GONE TO THE SHORES OF THE X. THE REJOICING OF THE VALIANT, XI. A CHRISTIAN'S LIFE, XII. THE MOUNTAIN WIND, . XIII. TRUST NOT IN MAN, XIV. THE WELCOME LAND, XV, THE GRAVE IN THE OZARKS, XVI. THE TORRENT OF ARABIA, XVII. THE PROPHETS, . XVIII. " SORROW TURNED INTO JOY,' XIX. OH ! STEAL NOT THOU MY FAITH AWAY, XX. »* IT IS FINISHED," XXI. BE THOU, OH GOD ! MY GUARD AND GUIDE, XXII. THE FIRST-BORN OF EGYPT, XXIII. THE LETTER FROM HOME, XXIV. AN EVENING HYMN, XXV. THE MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH, XXVI. THE WAR OF HUMANITY, XXVII. ( * GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY XXVIII. HEAVEN, . XXIX. THE VENAL SANCTUARY, xxx. a bard's LAST SONG, XXXI. A VOICE FROM THE GRAVE, LAND, I. "SING WITH THE HARP." Minstrel ! my spirit is sorely dejected ; Take down thy harp from its place on the wall ; — Long has it slumber'd untun'd and neglected, Long has its voice been unheard in the hall : Tyrants have triumph'd, and all have consented, Orphans are wrong'd, and the spoiler is glad, Just men have perish'd, and none have lamented : — Marvel not thou that my bosom is sad. Teach thou the sorrowing chords to awaken Thoughts of the dead, who for ages have slept, Martyrs that shrank not though scorn'd and forsaken,— Bards whom the people have honour'd and wept : — Harp thou of heroes, the valiant, the chainless, Bleeding for rights which the weak have betray'd ; — Sing thou of Goodness, the lowly, the stainless, Burning her incense unseen in the shade. O SING WITH THE HARP. When thou hast told of the lost and the dying, Bid thou thy strain of lamenting to cease ; — Sing thou of Him, on whose promise relying Guilt may have pardon, despair may have peace : Sound thou of worlds, where the seraph is sweeping Harpstrings unworn by the war-notes of men ; Lands of delight, where no mourner is weeping ; — So shall my spirit be tranquil again. II. THE ROCK IN THE ATLANTIC. In the sleepless Atlantic, remote and alone, Is a rock which the wild waves eternally beat ; — Its echoing bulwarks with seadrift are strown, And dark are the waters that roll at its feet : Let the shrill winds of ocean go forth as they may, It wars with the surges, and knows not of rest ; — Its pinnacles drip with the fast-falling spray, And billows are breaking in foam on its breast. But though breakers and whirlwinds around it may sweep, That hermit of ocean lives conquering on, And the mariner sees it still breasting the deep, As it flung back the surf in the years that are gone : All worn but unshaken that desolate rock, Fast rooted where islands and earthquakes are born, Looks fearlessly down on the breaker's rude shock, And laughs the vain force of the tempest to scorn. 8 THE ROCK IN THE ATLANTIC. Oh thou ! that reverest a master above, And sighest for glories immortal and high, Be strong in believing, and steadfast in love, When passion is loud, and the tempter is nigh : — When infidels bid thee be false to thy Lord, When they laugh at the faith that ennobles and saves, When they scoff at his people, and rail at his word, Be thou to their wildness that rock in the waves. Ay ! stand like that sea-cliff, nor ask thou to shun The work of obedience, the cares, or the cost : — There are treasures of infinite price to be won, There are treasures of infinite price to be lost: — With the wiles of the tempter, his vengeance or mirth, Strive thou as the bold and the faithful have striven, And the sorrows and toils of thy warfare on earth Shall be paid in the peace and the raptures of Heaven. III. THE BLEST OF EARTH. The origin of this song may be found in a Latin ode, written by Marcus Antonius Flaminius, an Italian poet of the sixteenth century. Thou shalt not call him blest, Though born to high command, Who sees among his slaves The nobles of his land ; Though banners bear his name On many a shining fold, Though sparkling gems are his, And ruddy piles of gold. Thou shalt not call him blest, In lofty wisdom sage, Whose searching eye has read Creation's boundless page ; — Who gathers round his hearth The wise of ancient days ; Whose words the learn'd and great Of other times shall praise. 2 10 THE BLEST OF EARTH But thou shalt call him blest, Though all unknown to fame, Whose righteous works adorn The Christian's sacred name ; Who loves the toilsome path, That high Apostles trod ; Who keeps with humble faith The just decrees of God. II IV. A ROSY CHILD WENT FORTH TO PLAY. A rosy child went forth to play, In the first flush of hope and pride, Where sands in silver beauty lay, Made smooth by the retreating tide ; And kneeling on the trackless waste, Whence ebb'd the waters many a mile, He rais'd in hot and trembling haste, Arch, wall, and tower ; — a goodly pile. But, when the shades of evening fell, Veiling the blue and peaceful deep, The tolling of the vesper bell Call'd the boy builder home to sleep : — He pass'd a long and restless night, Dreaming of structures tall and fair ; — He came with the returning light, And lo, the faithless sands were bare. 12 A ROSY CHILD WENT FORTH TO PLAY, Less wise than that unthinking child, Are all that breathe of mortal birth, Who grasp with strivings warm and wild, The false and fading toys of earth. Gold, learning, glory ; — What are they Without the faith that looks on high ? The sand forts of a child at play, Which are not when the wave goes by. 13 JESUS WALKING OX THE SEA. The rough winds were warring on broad Galilee, And the fathomless waters roll'd foaming and free, The strong blasts of Hermon came down in their might, And the palms of Manasseh were bow'd on their height; But no refuge was near for the perishing bark, When the breakers were loud, and the surges were dark ; The storm was about with its riot and din, And the mourners of Judah sat weeping within. Through the rack of the tempest, the mist of the wave, A Wakeful Preserver came basting to save ; The turbulent waters rejoic'd as He trod, And the lightnings rush'd thronging to welcome their God, He spake, and the blue depth lay shining and still, The voice of the cedars was hush'd on the hill ; The billow slept radiant with stars on the shore, And the revelling thunders were dreadful no more. 14 VI. RELIGION IN YOUTH. If thou dost truly seek to live With all the joys that earth can give, If thy young feet would gladly press The ways of peace and happiness ; Go thou with pure and fervent love To Him who dwells in light above, Who sees ten thousand suns obey, Yet listens when the lowly pray. Cling thou to Jesus faithfully, As vines embrace their guardian tree; Nor shame thy pure and lofty creed, Be his in thought, and word, and deed ; And thou shalt breathe in this low world, An eagle chain'd, with wings unfurl'd, Prepar'd, when once thy bonds are riven, To soar away, and flee to Heaven. 15 VII THE HEROINE MARTYR OF MONTEREY. When the American forces under General Taylor stormed Mon- terey, (Monterai/'), on the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd of September, 1846, a Mexican woman was seen going about among the disabled of both armies, binding up their wounds, and supplying them with food and water. While thus employed she fell. She was on the following day buried by the Americans, who had even then to bear an incessant discharge of shot from the Mexican batteries. The strife was stern at Monterey, When those high towers were lost and won ; And pealing through that mortal fray, Flash'd the strong battery's vengeful gun ; Yet, heedless of its deadly rain, She stood in toil and danger first, To bind the bleeding soldier's vein, And slake the dying soldier's thirst. 16 THE HEROINE MARTYR OF MONTEREY. She found a pale and stricken foe Sinking in nature's last eclipse, And on the red earth kneeling low She wet his parch'd and fever'd lips ; When thick as winter's driving sleet, The booming shot, and naming shell, Swept with wild rage that gory street, And she — the good and gentle — fell ! They laid her in her narrow bed — The foemen of her land and race ; And sighs were breath'd, and tears were shed, Above her lowly resting-place: — Ay ! Glory's crimson worshippers Wept over her untimely fall, For deeds of mercy, such as hers, Subdue the hearts and eyes of all. To sound her worth were guilt and shame In us, who love but gold and ease : — They heed alike oar praise or blame, Who live and die in works like these. Far greater than the wise or brave, Far happier than the fair and gay, Was she, who found a martyr's grave On that red field of Monterey. VIII. THE KETURN TO LEZAYRE, I came to the place where my childhood had dwelt, To the hearth where in early devotion I knelt ; — The fern and the bramble grew wild in the hall, And the long grass of summer wav'd green on the wall : The roof-tree was fallen, the household had fled, The garden was ruin'd, the roses were dead, The wild bird flew scar'd from her desolate stone, And I breath'd in the home of my boyhood — alone. That moment is past, but it left on my heart A remembrance of sadness which will not depart ; — I have wander'd afar since that sorrowful day, I have wept with the mournful, and laugh'd with the gay; I have lived with the stranger, and drank of the rills Which have warbled their music on loftier hills ; But I never forgot, in rejoicing or care, That mouldering hearth, and those hills of Lezayre. 18 THE RETURN TO L E Z A Y R E. Yet droop not, my spirit ! nor hopelessly mourn Over ills which the best and the wisest have borne : — Though the greetings of love, and the voices of mirth, May for ever be hush'd in the homesteads of earth ; Though the dreams and the dwellings of childhood decay, And the friends whom we cherish go hasting away, No young hopes are scatter'd, no heart-strings are riven, No partings are known in the households of Heaven. 19 IX. THOU ART GONE TO THE SHORES OF THE SERAPH'S LAND. A tribute to the virtues and genius of the Rev. Benjamin Davis Winslow. Thou art gone to the shores of the seraph's land, To the sacred place of the righteous band ; Thou hast fled afar, like some forest bird When the leaves of her dwelling are rudely stirr'd ; Thy lyre has dust on its ruin'd string, Thy bride is sad in her flowery spring, Thy foot — unseen on the temple floor, Thy voice — unheard at the poor man's door. Young Soldier of Truth ! thou didst raise thy shield, With its blood-red Cross, on a stormy field ; Thou didst look unmov'd on the banner'd throng, When the friend was cold, and the foe was strong ; In the front of the battle we saw thee stand, With a fearless heart, and a forward hand ; We did hope that the glories of coming years Would cluster about thee : — we thought not of tears. 20 THOU ART GONE. But go: — it was better to die thus young, When thy praise was loud upon every tongue ; It was happier far than to linger on, Till the bloom and freshness of life were gone : Since the seal was set on thy noble brow, Thou hast kept thy promise, and paid thy vow; And, when suns and systems shall fade and fall, Those works of thine shall outlive them all. 21 X THE REJOICING OF THE VALIANT. The scene described in these stanzas occurred in the memorable retreat of the Greeks after the battle of Cunaxa. — Xenophon, Anabasis, Book 4, Chapter 7. In many a conflict worn and spent, A fearless though forsaken band Of twice five thousand soldiers went, Treading a strange and hostile land : From red Cunaxa's reeking field, To the dark Euxine's briny flood, They march'd with banner, spear, and shield, Winning each league by toil and blood. They climb'd at last a rugged peak, The tallest of a lofty chain, Still unsubdued, though sad and weak With half their number lost or slain, When loud and wild a thrilling cry Comes rolling from the distant van: — Do foemen lurk in ambush nigh ? Are warriours charging man to man ? 22 THE REJOICING OF THE VALIANT. "The sea !" "the sea !" — At those glad words, Each swift to gain the foremost rank, The spearmen rush'd, as thirsting herds Go bounding to the river's bank ; — They came, like dusky vapours roll'd In masses by the raging blast, And gazed — on that broad sea which told Of glory won, and danger past. Christian ! thy way like theirs may lie Through many a scene of strife and wo, And every point that meets thine eye, May hold a stern and watchful foe ; — Yet droop thou not, nor ever leave The post which God assigns to thee : The brave and true alone receive The sweet rewards of victory. 23 XL A CHRISTIAN'S LIFE. He envied not the pomp and power Of kings in their triumphant hour, The deeds that win a lofty name, The songs that give to bards their fame. He sigh'd not for the gold that shines In Guinea's brooks, in Ophir's mines ; He stood not at the festivals Of nobles in their gorgeous halls. He walk'd on earth, as wood-streams pass Unseen beneath the freshen'd grass ; — His were pure thoughts, and humble faith, A blameless life, and tranquil death. He kept, in days of strife and wrath, The Christian's straight and narrow path ;- But weep thou not : — we must not weep When they who rest in Jesus sleep. 24 XII. THE MOUNTAIN WIND. The local allusions in this song make it necessary to state that it was written in Scotland, after visiting the sublime mountain scenery round Castletown of Braemar. Blast of the mountain ! the strongest, the fleetest, Sounding at eve in the pines of Braemar, — Breeze of the desert ! the purest, the sweetest, Warbling alone on the moorlands afar, — Hasten, Unseen ! from the fields of thy freedom, Play round my bosom, and steal o'er my brow; — Harp-strings of Morven, and perfumes of Edom, Bring not my spirit such gladness as thou. Come from the brake where the wild bird is singing, Come from the fresh bank that gladdens the bee, Come from the cliff* where the blue-bell is springing, Hidden from all but the sunbeam and thee ; — Rise in thy strength from the vale of thy slumbers ; Waken ; — my spirit has pined for thee long : — Oh for the music that swells in thy numbers ! Oh for the wildness that breathes in thy song ! THE MOUNTAIN WIND. 25 Welcome, sweet playmate and friend of my childhood ! Thou art the same that I loved in my youth ; — Others were false as those leaves in the wild wood, Thou still retainest thy freshness and truth ; — Thou still rejoicest, in melody roaming Through the long fern, where the dew spangles gleam; Thou, when the swift brooks are turbidly foaming, Dashest the spray from the vex'd mountain stream. Bard of the hill ! when thy harping is loudest, Bid me not think with the tyrant or slave ; Teach me to strive with the worst and the proudest, Fearless, as thou with steep GarvaPs dark wave ; — Teach me to rise with a lofty devotion, Pure, as thou rovest the blossoming sod, Sweeping the chords with a sacred emotion, Singing of Truth, and Redemption, and God, 26 XIII. TRUST NOT IN MAN. " Cursed be the man that trusteth in man." Thou hast spoken of glories above, Of freedom, and friendship, and love ; In the former the wise must believe, But the latter are — sounds which deceive. They are names, as thou sadly shalt know, Of delights which endure not below ; — They are idle as words, which the hand Of a stripling has traced on the sand. Thy days yet to come may seem fair, With no shade of deceit or despair ; Strange light on thy pathway may shine, Great thoughts and high hopes may be thine. But false as the vapours that sleep, Like islands, afar on the deep, Are the phantoms of goodness and truth, Which are seen in the visions of youth. TRUST NOT IN MAN. 27 Beware then, and place not thy trust In those that are form'd out of dust : — They are feeble, and faithless, and vain ; — Dream not that their smiles will remain. They are friends whom misfortune will change, Whom distance or years will estrange ; — They will flatter, yet fail in thy need : — Trust Him " that is faithful" indeed. 28 XIV. THE WELCOME LAND. Once, on a fresh and fragrant eve, I wander'd up an island steep ; — The tints which rosy sunsets leave Lay purple on the heaving deep ; — A day of tempest dark and stern Was closing in an hour as bright, As ever gemm'd the summer fern, Or turn'd the mountain streams to light. Unmindful of the breakers' war That raged along the lonely strand, I watch'd beyond the waves afar The green hills of my father-land : Long had I chas'd them o'er the sea, By surge and tempest toss'd and driven, And there they rose to welcome me, Cloth'd in the fairest hues of heaven. THE WELCOME LAND. 29 Heir of eternal life ! be strong, Nor in thy darkest hour repine ; Though pain and sorrow chase thee long, A land more beauteous far is thine : — Ay ! though thou fall, unwept, unblest, Thy monument a blasted sod, Thine is the Christian's pleasant rest, Thine are the radiant courts of God. 30 XV. THE GEAVE IN THE OZARKS. A young Englishman of great worth died, as here described, among the Ozark mountains in Missouri. Low on a forest bed A weary pilgrim lay; A fever scorch'd his brow, His home was far away : September trod in light The blue Missourian sky, When that sad wanderer sought The red man's hut — to die. He cross'd the surging deep From England's noble shore, To learn in pathless wilds The forest's secret lore: He climb' d the broad green hills, Where Ozark's hunters dwell ; — The fatal season came, The lonely stranger fell. THE GRAVE IN THE OZARKS. 31 As Huron's clear wave breaks, Hush'd on a desert strand, He bow'd his head, and died In that far mountain land : — His sun went down in peace, He felt no doubts or fears, For he had kept the faith, From boyhood's happy years. Fast by a swift dark stream, The woodman dug a grave, Where dewy blossoms spring, And wild- wood branches wave: — On that sepulchral turf No breathing marble weeps, But angels know the place Where that young Christian sleeps. 32 XYI. THE TORRENT OF ARABIA. The mountains of Arabia contain numerous springs, which, fed by the yearly rains, send streams of water through the valleys that descend towards the low country. Most of them, however, are lost in the sand, as soon as they enter the plain. It may be well to add that an Arabian tent is, in general, black, and that Ahkaf is the name of an extensive desert. All foaming down its native hills The torrent of Arabia leaps, When showers have swell'd its fountain rills Far up the blue and airy steeps: Like some chaf 'd steed that spurns the rein, In raging fulness swift and free, It rushes to the fiery plain, Bounding to reach the distant sea. THE TORRENT OF ARABIA. 33 And now those deep cool waters glide Along the green and narrow vale, Where broad trees arch the crystal tide, And fragrance breathes in every gale : — The dusky tent and flowery slope Lie mirror'd in that wave at first, And there the timid antelope Oft stoops to quench her noonday thirst. But, ere the wide and wild expanse Of Ahkaf 's burning sand is cross'd, That stream, so full and foaming once, Sinks on its rough way spent and lost : — Lost in its sultry wanderings, And hush'd in an eternal sleep, It wastes unseen, and never brings One tribute to the mighty deep. Weak as that torrent's failing wave Art thou who, born for Heaven and Truth, Hast lived a false world's meanest slave, Shaming a blest and glorious youth ; — Who, vow'd in life's first happiest day To generous faith and deeds of worth, Hast fainted on thy heavenward way, Lost in the vain low cares of earth. 34 XVII. THE PROPHETS. Hast thou look'd on the worlds which are shining afar? Hast thou thought of a land where the sorrowless are ? Hast thou sigh'd for repose in some region of bliss, When assail'd by the storms and the dangers of this? Hast thou wept at thy bondage, and long'd to be free, When the proud or the faithless were frowning on thee, When the sorrows of manhood have wasted thy cheek, When thy knowledge was vain, and thy reason was weak? If thou hast, thou shalt find in the Prophets reveal'd For thy soul in its warfare a sword and a shield, A voice from The Wisdom that angels obey, A promise of glories which pass not away. Thou shalt read of a Victor triumphantly borne, In the march of whose thousands no captive shall mourn; A King, in whose mercy the faithful shall trust, When the trumpet shall call them to rise from the dust. 35 XVIII. "SORROW TURNED INTO JOY/' Yes ! pain and care have left too soon A blight upon thy heart and brow, As cold winds kill the leaves of June, Blasting the forest's greenest bough ; Yet, breathe thy soul's deep grief to none, Nor weep that earthly joys decay ; — Say thou " my God, thy will be done :" — Night's darkest hour is lost in day. The path which lies through toil and wo, The path which saints and martyrs trod, Though rough and painful here below, Leads upward to the throne of God. Then mail anew thy stricken breast, Be firm in faith, be strong in love, And thou shalt find eternal rest In that unchanging world above. 36 XIX. OH! STEAL NOT THOU MY FAITH AWAY. Oh ! steal not thou my faith away, Nor tempt to doubt a lowly mind ; Make all that earth can yield thy prey, But leave this heavenly gift behind : — Our hope is but the seaboy's dream When loud winds rise in wrath and gloom Our life — a faint and fitful beam That lights us to the cold dark tomb. Yet, since, as One from Heaven has said, There lies beyond that dreary bourn A region, where the faithful dead Eternally forget to mourn, Welcome the scoff, the sword, the chain, The burning waste, the black abyss ; — I shrink not from the path of pain, Which leads me to that world of bliss. oh! steal not thou my faith away. 37 Then hush, thou troubled heart ! be still ; — Renounce thy vain philosophy ; — Seek thou to work thy Maker's will, And light from Heaven shall break on thee. 'Twill glad thee in the weary strife, Where strong men sink with failing breath ; — 'Twill cheer thee in the noon of life, And bless thee in the night of death. 38 XX. "IT IS FINISHED." It is finish'd : — thy dwellings, O Salem ! are strown, Thy daughters are weeping in exile alone, The lances of Judah lie wasted with rust, And the ramparts of Zion are laid in the dust. The Cedron is dyed with thy gore as it runs, The torch in thy temple, the chain on thy sons ; The blood of The Guiltless is red on thy brow, And the arm which upheld thee abandons thee now. It is finish'd : — the work of Redemption is done, The combat is ended, the victory won ; The spoiler of Eden has fled from the field, The portals of glory stand brightly reveal'd : The toil of a sinless Redeemer is past, And the shout of the Gentile is loud on the blast ; A luminous dayspring has dawn'd on his night, And " the isles of the heathen" are waking in light. 39 XXL BE THOU, OH GOD! MY GUARD AND GUIDE. Be thou, Oh God ! my guard and guide Where proud and wrathful men abide ; Make me as thou, Eternal ! art, Righteous in act, and pure in heart. When doubts or stormy passions roll Thick darkness o'er my troubled soul, Teach thou my trembling lips to pray, Dash thou the rising tear away. When struggling in the dreary strife Which marks the fairest path of life, Support me if I faint or fall, Raise thou thy weeping prodigal. Lord ! may I come by faith at last, When this world's cares and toils are past, To that serene and happy shore, Where guilt and sorrow wound no more : 40 BE THOU, OH GOD! MY GUARD AND GUIDE, And may I in that home of bliss Meet all the friends I loved in this, The sharers of my hopes and fears, The deeply loved of vanish'd years. Be mine the Christian's virtues, Lord ! Be mine the Christian's high reward ; A spring beam on a Polar sea, Thy mercy, God ! will shine on me. 41 XXII. THE FIRST-BORN OF EGYPT, O'er Pharaoh's wide domain, The sun went brightly down, On many a lofty fane, And many an ancient town : — The revel song was breath'd, The starry lamps were fair, The banquet crowns were wreath'd, And all were joyful there. But, ere the morning smil'd On temple, stream, and flower, A wailing strange and wild Went up from tent and tower : — The ruler's porphyry halls, The shepherd's reedy shed, The dungeon's sunless walls, All mourn'd an inmate — dead. 6 42 THE FIRST-BORN OF EGYPT. For sudden wrath went forth O'er that rebellious land, Which deem'd of little worth Jehovah's dread command ; And smote the eldest-born, With an avenging sword, Of those who dared to scorn His high and awful word. The monarch's wail is loud, The stubborn heart is bent, The lofty neck is bow'd, The Hebrew's chain is rent; Vain is the warriour's trust : — The despot's iron rod Lies broken in the dust Before a frowning God. 43 XXIII. THE LETTER FROM HOME. A youthful stranger walk'd alone In a great city's busiest place ; — He heard not one familiar tone, He saw not one familiar face : He trod that long and weary street, Till day's last beam wax'd faint and dim, But none were nigh to cheer or greet, — Not one was there to smile on him. He saw before him thickly press The rude, the beautiful, the proud, And felt that strange deep loneliness, Which chills us in the selfish crowd : — Ay ! though his heart was stern and strong, And scorn'd each soft and wailing mood, He felt a sore and saddening throng Of doubts and wasting cares intrude, 44 THE LETTER FROM HOME. While yet he mused in bitter thought, A messenger appear'd at hand, Who to that mourning pilgrim brought A letter from his own fair land : — Eager as if it search'd a mine, His eye that welcome page explor'd, And, as he read each glowing line, Hope, gladness, life — were all restor'd. Yet mightier than the voice from home, Which nerv'd that drooping exile's breast, Those words of thine, Redeemer! come To calm our fears, and give us rest: — When, in some sad and sunless hour, We pine for smiles and tones of love, They bid us look, through storm and shower, To Thee our light and life above. 45 XXIV. AN EVENING HYMN. Lord! thou art He, whose arm of might First hung with worlds this arch of night ; Thine is the sacred vesper hour, Thine the fresh turf, and closing flower ; — These ancient woods, that twilight sea, Those meads and mountains speak of Thee. Thine are the dews which fall unseen On forest glade, and village green ; Thine is the pure and playful gale That warbles in the fragrant vale ; Above, below, Thy glories shine ; — Strength, wisdom, goodness, Lord ! are Thine. 46 AN EVENING HYMN. King of the broad and radiant skies ! Bless Thou my song and sacrifice ; Breathe o'er my soul, this tranquil even, Unearthly peace and dreams of Heaven ; Sweet dreams to cheer me press'd again By the wild war of wrongful men. And, when those years to come shall throw Their chilness o'er my bosom's glow, Serene, as that departing ray Which lights the mountains far away, Let me withdraw from earth to be Redeem'd and blest, O God ! with Thee. 47 XXY. THE MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH, Along the smooth and slender wires, The sleepless heralds run Fast as the clear and living rays Go streaming from the sun : No peals or flashes heard or seen Their wondrous flight betray, And yet their words are quickly felt In cities far away. Nor summer's heat nor winter's hail Can check their rapid course ; — They meet unmov'd the fierce wind's rage,- The rough wave's sweeping force : — In the long night of rain and wrath, As in the blaze of day, They rush, with news of weal or wo, To thousands far away. 48 THE MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH. But faster still than tidings borne On that electric cord, Rise the pure thoughts of him who loves The Christian's life and Lord, — Of him who, taught in smiles and tears With fervent lips to pray, Maintains high converse here on earth With bright worlds far away. Ay ! though nor outward wish is breath'd, Nor outward answer given, The sighing of that humble heart Is known and felt in Heaven : — Those long frail wires may bend and break, Those viewless heralds stray, But Faith's least word shall reach the throne Of God, though far away. 49 XXVI. THE WAR OF HUMANITY. Written when public meetings for the relief of Ireland were held in all parts of the United States. Ay ! these are, Columbia ! the counsels and words — High counsels of wisdom— pure breathings of worth — That, better than armies and stronger than swords, Can give thee the crown and the sceptre of earth : — When perishing thousands are weeping afar, To do that which thou in thy greatness hast done — This, this is Humanity's merciful war ; — Here foes may be scatter'd, and fields may be won. The life-giving ship which shall float to that land, With the stars of thy banner unfurl'd at the mast, Will raise a memorial more lasting and grand, Than all thy fair trophies bequeath'd from the past ; And when those yet unborn their stern verdict shall give, On all that were mighty to save or to slay, This generous work will outshine and outlive The toils and the glories of red Monterey. 7 50 THE WAR OF HUMANITY. Thy praises shall sound in the green Innisfail, From the crags of Bengore to the sands of Tralee : — On mountain and hill-side, in lowland and vale, They will speak with full hearts of thy children and thee : By the Foyle and the Bandon, in legend and song, They will tell how their fathers, removed and at rest, When the skies were all dark, and the tempest wax'd strong, Saw Mercy's high stormbow first arching the west. Then forward and faint not, nor lose thou thy fame ; On, on, with the force and the fervour of youth : — No vanishing splendour shall blaze round thy name, If thou be but valiant for goodness and truth. The soldier, who struggles for victory, bears To the murderous conflict the lance and the sword ; — Know thou that a weapon more potent is theirs, Who share with the falling the gifts of their Lord. 51 XXVII "GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY." Oh ! sweep the loud harp's tuneful strings, Break forth like song-birds after showers, To tell how He — the King of kings — Came to this ruin'd world of ours : — If angels beam'd on Judah's hills, And bid those watchers then rejoice, Shall we whose ears that message fills, Mock with cold hearts the sacred voice ? When He — the Son of God — was born, We walk'd in darkness far astray, But fair as Greenland's arctic morn, He chas'd our long drear night away : — His head that manger cradle press'd, He toil'd and suffer' d many a year, To give the fainting nations rest, To dry the mourner's bitter tear. 52 GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY. Who, who, that ever breath'd on earth, Bard, prophet, hero, saint, or sage, Gave cause like this for righteous mirth, To men of every clime and age ? Oh ! it were shameful and unwise Before those waning lights to fall, Yet look with cold and careless eyes On Him — the Central Sun of all. Go, tell the trembling slave of guilt, Whose breast is sad, whose eye is dim, That Just One's sacred blood was spilt, To win back Heaven's lost smile for him All, all may join His glorious bands, In that far world of light and bliss, Who keep His pure and high commands With meek and faithful hearts in this. 53 XXVIII HEAVEN To Heaven, where tears and sighs Are lost in endless bliss, How beautiful to rise From such a world as this, To burst our chains, and flee away To those high realms of lasting day ! — There God's bright cherubim, Harping on golden chords, Chant many a lofty hymn, In sweet and glowing words : The saddening thoughts, and plaintive tone, Of earthly songs are there unknown. 0<± HEAVEN. They too of woman born, Who prov'd what faith will dare, Unbow'd by scourge or scorn, Are blest for ever there. They brav'd the foeman's torch and sword, They won the victor's great reward. Who, that has ever shed One penitential tear, Who, that has toil'd or bled For truth, would linger here, Nor long to join the sacred band, The shining host of that fair land? 55 XXIX. THE VENAL SANCTUARY Where in our churches is the place for the poor 1 I ask this question with shame and sorrow : Where is the place for the poor? — * * * *Admit that here and there a poor person has a seat : Where is it 1 Is he invited to sit with us " in a good place," or do we say to him " stand thou there, or sit here under my foot- stool ?" — Right Rev. Bishop Ives. " I WILL BRING YOUR SANCTUARIES UNTO DESOLATION.' Leviticus, xxvi. 31. I trod the hallow'd ground that bore A Christian temple tall and proud, When at each wide and lofty door Went streaming in a gorgeous crowd : — A welcome day bid all rejoice — A fair and ancient festival, And the glad organ's mighty voice Shook the strong roof and Gothic wall. 56 THE VENAL SANCTUARY. Full many a token mark'd the fold Where rich and high believers meet, The sacred volume clasp'd in gold, The costly robe, and drowsy seat : — Priest, people, altar, chancel, choir, Arch, column, window, porch, and gate- That ample fane, from vault to spire, Look'd solemn all and calmly great. But mark ! An old and weary man — A stranger clad " in raiment vile," With failing steps and features wan, Went tottering up the fair broad aisle : — They cast him out — Oh faithless race ! On a rude bench — unseen — remote, — Found guilty, in that hour and place, Of — a lean purse and threadbare coat ! Yes ! and if He, who saved the lost, Stood fainting on that haughty floor, Array'd in weeds of little cost, Meek as He sought our world before ; In spite of words which none might blame, And works of goodness freely done, That sordid post of wrong and shame Would greet — Jehovah's only Son. THE VENAL SANCTUARY. 57 Oh for a prophet's tongue or pen, To warn the great in wealth and birth, Who build their God a house, and then Plant there — the meanest pomps of earth ; — To brand that Church, which spurns the poor From every vain and venal pew, Where " cloth'd in purple" herd secure To kneel or sleep — the lordly few ! Give me the shed, low, bare, and plain, Where love and humble truth abide, Rather than earth's most noble fane Defil'd by selfish pomp and pride : Give me the damp and desert sod WalPd in by dark old forest trees, RooPd over by the skies of God, But perish temples such as these ! 58 XXX. A BAUD'S LAST SONG. Make me a grave in the pines of the mountain, The pines which I loved in the days that are past ;- There let the stream, as it falls from the fountain, Mingle its hymn with the moan of the blast : Free on my turf, when the spring is returning, Leave thou the bird of the desert to breed ; — There, when the red beam of summer is burning, Oft let the herd of the wilderness feed. Fleeting and few were the joys which I tasted, Fool'd by the teachings of error so long ; — Noble and high were the gifts which I wasted, Heedless of all but my mood and my song : — Worthless and mean were my strain and my story- The feast and the wine-cup, the sword and the fray :- Faith with its grandeur, and Truth with its glory, Shed not their light on my life or my lay. A BARD'S LAST SONG. 59 Son of my God, who wast laid in the manger! Mark my repentance, and pity my doom, — Thou who wast tried by temptation and danger, Thou that hast vanquish'd the cross and the tomb ! Vengeful and loud when the trumpet is ringing, Sounding the dirge of the field and the sea, Grant me a place, where the ransom'd are singing Anthems which speak of Redemption and Thee. 60 XXXI. A VOICE FKOM THE GRAVE MORTAL ! Whom choice or chance has hither led To muse among the dwellings of the dead, Look on this grave and drop one sacred tear ; — The good — the young — the gifted — slumbers here. CHRISTIAN ! Whose earnest heart and upward eye Are fix'd on deathless realms beyond the sky ; Be glad for one whose work on earth is done, Whose suffering past, whose crown of glory won.